Originally written July 26, 2012 on isportsweb.com:
Cole Hamels toes the rubber tomorrow night for the Philadelphia Phillies, which will be the first of many memories.  Does Atlanta have pitching problems and a streaky offense? TAL’S HANDY CAPS   WELCOME, NEWCOMERS: I will publish after every battle that is not washed out.  I will have many season-long highlights of puzzle pieces, especially important after drubbings and defeats. If you were directed here by a feed and this review does not mention yesterday’s contest, please go to the Phillies page for my most recent coverage. (Early morning readers may arrive before the latest post.) Scroll down to Tal’s Handy Links at the bottom. Thank you.   Check out:  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Sudden life   CAP-SIZE HINDSIGHT:    7-6 Triumph TYPEPLAYERREASON The Crystal Champagne ToastChase UtleyFour-Star Performance The Penthouse Erik Kratz

Chase Utley

Kyle Kendrick

PH Chooch Ruiz
Jimmy RollinsSingled In Magic Juan To Tie It Up At 1 In The 2nd
During His 3 For 5 Afternoon
Doubled In Vic For a 2-1 Lead In The 3rd
On His 3 For 4 Day With 3 Steaks & 1 SB
Shutdown The 6th For Worley With 2 In Scoring Pos. & 1 Out
A Solid 1.2-Inning Hold
Sac-Fly In The 10th To Knot It Up At 6
RBI Walk-Off Single In The 10th The Fun House Of MirrorsOpposing CF

Visiting 8-Hole Bat
MIL 1BHR Trot On A Foul Ball In The 1st Before A Called 3rd
Tripped Exiting The Dugout To Take The Field For The Home Half
Bunted With No Outs & Runners On The Corners In The 3rd
Sun-Blinded Pop-Up Near Dugout Goes Unchallenged The Kangaroo CourthouseTy Wigginton Another 2 Boots At 3rd For 3 In 2 Games
Dropped A Costly Pop-Up In The 10th The Leather WarehouseHunter Pence
Chase UtleyMade A Late-Game Solid Catch In The 8th
Caught An Over-The-Shoulder Flare In No-Man's Land
During The 10th Rally Tal & Cap4 Players, 2 RunsBB (Mayberry), Double (Kratz), Sac-Fly (Chooch) & Single (J-Roll)
In The 10th     Cinco Ocho Lifts J-Roll In A Celebration With Magic Juan     NITECAP INSIGHT      
The Margin Of Victory:   It wasn’t 1776 but it was 3 late-frame 7-6 conquests. During those endgame uprisings, the red pinstripes skirted around their fill-in at the hot corner, their inconsistent set-up man, and a poor turn from 2 aces–one working his way back after a long layoff. The reason the Phils are a 2nd-half club is their pacing. In other words, they dial it up a notch after the break, when the stakes are raised. That’s the mark of a contender and their current percentage is .667, which would produce 42 more wins for a 87-75 campaign. This is reachable when you consider their previous 4 years. In fact, they could exceed that because they are stronger offensively. Before Cinco Ocho Lifted J-Roll, Mike Fontenot Scored The Walk-Off Run In The 10th Now, the Braves stand in their path. Yes, the hometown 9 were red faced after being swept at the Bank by the Tomahawks. That said, Cholley’s boys were still being reassembled, but the payback moment has arrived. Don’t think for a second that they forgot that visit in July. That said, Atlanta puts a lot of pressure on Tim Hudson and Tommy Hanson to succeed every time out. Mike Minor and Jair Jurrjens–his turn was skipped in this series–struggle frequently, while Ben Sheets is a health gamble who is limited to 6 innings. Their relief corps is in the middle of the MLB pack (16th) and they are overworked. Like 2011, they will probably have an empty tank by September. The 8th is the only hole for our team with Kyle Kendrick stabilizing the 6th and 7th. He might have to handle the 8th also with Antonio Bastardo relegated down a peg, perhaps, in a less prominent role. Rube Amaro is looking for a backend arm, but the standings help an August acquisition from an NL organization that falls out of it. That said, these are basically the same guys from 2008 to 2010, and those squads had injuries amid other issues. This unit has a solid rotation, an improvement in the hammer department, a stronger attack and bench, but that 1 glaring weakness. That stated, both franchises went 1-2 versus the Giants, but against other contenders, the locals are 3-3 to the Chop Shopper’s 3-4. J-Roll Smacks In The Sliding Run With His Walk-Off Single In The 10th They have 3 stars with fresh legs, entering the stretch drive. And in earlier tours they have had other shortcomings they overcame or shielded from exposure. However, the mathematicians say it is highly unlikely for them to play .700 ball. Well, this same crew produced a 49-19 finish (.721) in 2010, and continued into 2011 with a 98-52 record before taking their foot off the accelerator. That “impossible” trek of 218 consecutive games equaled 147-71 (.674).   Unlike their last battles, the Braves and the Nats will now face Goliath head-on in their own backyards.   2ND HALF RECORDS: TEAMW - LTEAMW - L 01The Reds11 - 0206The Pirates07 - 05 02The Giants09 - 0307The Dodgers06 - 06 03The Phillies08 - 0407The Cardinals06 - 06 04The Nationals09 - 05---The Marlins04 - 09 05The Braves08 - 05---The Mets01 - 11     King Cole Loads Up A Circle Change At The Bank On July 21 Against The Giants   PRECAP PITCH    
Cole Hamels:   Warning:  This is his adrenalin-rush performance after inking his marriage in Philly.  The Braves might be the victims of a more explosive fastball on Friday night.  Against them at the Ted, his line was:  6 complete, 6 hits, 2 both-earned runs, 2 walks and 6 punch outs on 108 bullets.   STARTERRECORDTMSTARTERRECORDDAY & TIME 1LHP Cole Hamels11-4, 3.23 ERA@ BravesRHP Ben Sheets2-0, 0.00 ERAFriday, Night 2RHP Joe Blanton8-8, 4.70 ERA@ BravesLHP Mike Minor5-7, 5.49 ERASaturday, Night 3RHP Doc Halladay4-5, 4.32 ERA@ BravesRHP Tim Hudson9-4, 3.71 ERASunday, Day 1LHP Cliff Lee1-6, 3.72 ERA@ NatsRHP Stephen Strasburg11-4, 2.76 ERATuesday, Night   Ben Sheets Works In Game 1 On July 21 In Washington       Ben Sheets:   He reappears in this incarnation with Atlanta after coming within 4 days of a 2 summer absence.  His two W ledger is:  12 total, 7 hits, 0 runs, 4 free passes plus 11 whiffs on 88 and 91 darts respectively.       DELIVERY = PITCHER’S 2012DEFINITION OF SEASON Over The TopExcellent 3-Quarters SidearmGood SidearmAbove Average Short Arm Approximately Average SubmarineBelow Average     Quality number of the pitcher:  1 – 5 Slot on his club:  1 – 5 Ranking is 1 to 5 & 15 for the less adventurous. *** = Approximately equal after plus-and-minus compensation   HURLERCole HamelsBen Sheets NUMBERA OneA Five CLUB SLOTThreeThree FOR 20123-Quarters SidearmOver The Top '12 RANKING2nd of 5 Categories1st of 5 Categories LAST STARTSinker***Sinker* LAST HIGH OR LOW6th of 15 Categories6th of 15 Categories     DISPLAY NOTE:  Non-listed results can go up or down by * 1 notch & ** 2 clicks (This note will only appear when it’s relevant.) * 1 Tick UP   PITCHINNER - R- HPITCHINNER 1Gyroball9 (CG)0 - 0 - 310Screwball64 2Fastball9 (CG)0 - 011Knuckleball53 3Cutter9 (CG)312Forkball0 - 4.2Monstrosity 4Split Finger7213Eephus Pitch0 - 2.2Disaster 5Curveball7314*Palm BallEjected 6Sinker6.1315*Spit Ball**Ejected+ 7Slider62*Breaking BallInjured 8Changeup63*FoshRain Interrupted 9Slurve52** = Suspended* = A 2nd Pitch Also     LINK-UP BELOW: Tal’s Handy Caps on Facebook is for notification of posts and any holdups that may occur. It might be worth your while because there are delays of 2 hours on most feeds. Check out my previous publications (Uncharted Territory) and the 82 storylines–so far–for 2012 on the Phillies page, where there is an excerpt photo. Tal’s Handy Stats is daily coverage. I am alternating the 2012 ERA For The NL East and the 2012 ERA For The MLB 5. Thank you, to all who bookmarked my page. TAL’S HANDY LINKS   TAL’S HANDY CAPS on Facebook  Philadelphia Phillies storyline: Sudden life (Horsemen Stats) Phillies Tal Venada (Author Archives) Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the NL East at game 99 Philadelphia Phillies: 2012 ERA for the MLB 5 at game 96 (MLB 5 at game 99 will be up today.)  

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